We are a movement of students and educators who believe that beauty and wisdom are integral to a full liberal arts education. We believe that restoring education will offer Americans qualities they desperately need: meaning, purpose, and hope.
Why Beauty and Wisdom?Reveal more
The Scala Foundation’s mission is to renew American culture by restoring beauty and wisdom to the liberal arts.Who We Are
Beauty awakens our desire to know. Through art, poetry, liturgy, natural beauty, and friendship, beauty can inspire students to become lifelong learners. Reason and open debate cultivate inspiration until it becomes wisdom. That is why Scala’s liberal arts vision is attentive to the human longing for beauty, meaning, friendship and belonging.
Beauty inspires us to grow in virtue. When we see the beauty of noble, meaningful, and loving lives, we want to imitate those moral exemplars. True education forms, shapes and deepens the desire for virtue.
Wisdom is the fruit of education. It is the hard-won power to judge rightly in service of our communities and our world. It includes knowledge, but goes beyond knowledge to incorporate experience and virtue.
Scala’s liberal arts vision begins with the truth that humans are a unity of mind, body, and soul. Educating in beauty and wisdom ensures that the liberal arts form the body and the soul along with mind. Beauty and wisdom, almost forgotten in today’s modern society, are crucial to a good, well-ordered, holistic education.
Scala is the Latin word for ladder.
A ladder needs a stable foundation: for Scala, that means being firmly based in community life that holds us steady as we climb to contemplate eternal truths.
The two sides of a ladder symbolize the need for balance between body and soul. The steps of the ladder represent the hard but necessary ascent to wisdom.
Scala’s Strategy: Educate the Educators
Scala’s programs concentrate on pivotal agents of cultural renewal:
- Early-career professionals who are in training to become teachers, scholars, artists, writers, intellectuals, and culture-creators
- Major decision-makers in education and culture, such as university administrators and K-12 school leaders
- Educational entrepreneurs looking to found new schools, colleges, and curricular programs
- Writers and other culture creators who feed our culture’s hunger for beauty and wisdom
Scala’s seminars, reading groups, conferences, summer programs and online resources help educators and culture creators:
Engage the millennia-old tradition of liberal arts education and its power to form virtuous, purpose-driven citizens.
Form young leaders who are pivotal agents of cultural renewal.
Build communities of like-minded cultural entrepreneurs and magnify their impact.
“Scala is the community I had hoped to find in graduate school. The seminars and trips foster the pursuit of truth and rich community that, unfortunately, often does not happen organically and is not championed enough outside the classroom. The opportunity to interact with the diverse mix of folks drawn to Scala allows me not only to connect with others in my discipline, but to benefit from interdisciplinary conversations that are crucial to the formation of a well-rounded academic.”
— Peter B., Princeton Theological Seminary
“I feel empowered as an individual, having met a group of graduate students endeavoring to live a flourishing academic and personal life who understand that the two cannot be divorced. Meeting them, and knowing that the conversations have only just begun, has shifted my perspective considerably.”
— Renae W., Baylor University
“Thank you so very much Professor Mooney Suarez for a salvific four weeks. You have pushed the horizons of my imagination, which, as Maritain points out, is the best thing one can do to expand the freedom of one’s mind. The course has made me want to become an educator, as the readings did a great job of communicating the importance of education and the passion and drama of the teacher-student relationship.”
— Alex H., Yale University
“[Scala’s seminar] offered an invaluable deep dive into intensive academic study during my time as a working professional in DC. I think this course provides students with a close look at the core ideas of learning that get at the heart of human meaning. Our ever-distracted culture aches for such fundamental truths.”
— Elayne A., Research Assistant, American Enterprise Institute
“This week and a half at the Scala seminar was the happiest educational experience of my life.”
— Henry B., Princeton Theological Seminary
“Healthy campus discussion is scarce, and tense when it does occur. Scala, on the other hand, fosters a lively setting in which discussion participants are not afraid to articulate their views, knowing that others will charitably engage them. As a result, there is a true sense of camaraderie and an acknowledgment that we are a community of learners pursuing the truth together.”
— Elly B., Princeton University
Educating For Beauty & Wisdom
View an episode from our latest webinar series: Educating for Beauty & Wisdom.
In this scholarly discussion between Professor Margarita Mooney Suarez and Dr. Daniel Lipinski, a political scientist who served eight terms in the United States House of Representatives, they reflected on the intersection of faith, politics and education.